Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney has rubbished Nigeria’s lawsuit against him saying it is “entirely baseless.” Cheney is implicated in a bribery scandal that involved the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in southern Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission plan to charge Mr. Cheney next week for his role in bribery that involved an engineering firm KBR, a former subsidiary of energy firm Halliburton.
KBR admitted bribing Nigerian officials when it was a subsidiary of Halliburton. The firm pleaded guilty to paying $180m in bribes to Nigerian officials prior to 2007, and agreed to pay $579m in fines related to the case in the US.
Mr. Cheney was Halliburton’s chief executive the time the illegal transaction was conducted between 1995-2005.
Prosecutor Godwin Obla said joint charges would be filed by Tuesday December 7, at a high court in the capital Abuja against Mr. Cheney, the former and current leadership of Halliburton, and the consortium they partnered with.
“As the CEO of Halliburton, he has the responsibility for acts that occurred during that period. Cheney would face conspiracy charges and an arrest warrant from Interpol would be sought,” AFP quoted Obla as saying
Mr. Cheney, who went on to become vice-president to George W Bush in 2001, has since rubbished the charges to be brought against him.
His lawyer Terence O’Donnell, said US investigators had “found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role of CEO of Halliburton”.
“Any suggestion of misconduct on his [Dick Cheney] part, made now, years later, is entirely baseless. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated that joint venture extensively and found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role of CEO of Halliburton,” Mr. O’Donnell was quoted by reporters.
KBR and Halliburton have since split and Halliburton says it is not connected with the case against KBR.
However, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported that those charged would include both former and current leadership of Halliburton and officials from firms in a consortium involved in the LNG plant.